by Katherine Realegeno, Senior Ad Buyer
It’s no surprise that social media networks are saturated with content from various businesses, organizations, and influencers, all competing for attention from your key audience. So how do you stand out in the digital crowd?
A vital key to success is knowing how to use each platform’s unique qualities to connect with your followers. Let’s discuss a few key social networks and how you can build authentic relationships with your audience on each:
Facebook values community, so you need to form one with the people who are interested in your church, ministry, or cause. Your community will comprise of your base of followers that actively engage with your content. Encourage that community by connecting with them and discovering why they fell in love with your organization in the first place: maybe they felt passionate about your mission or heard a beautiful story about the impact you make. Once you understand their motivation, explore what you can do within your social media community to start conversations and strengthen that bond.
It’s also vital to pay attention to how people are engaging with your content; one key metric you can dive deep into is your engagement rate. Facebook calculates your “engagement rate” by dividing the total number of engagements on a post (likes, comments, and shares) by its reach. The average Facebook engagement rate for all types (videos, static images, status updates, etc.) of content is 3.75%.You should actively be testing content with an aim to hit that 3.75% engagement rate, explore what best connects with your community.
No one likes to be left unheard, so encourage engagement by initiating conversations with your audience. When someone comments on your post about how powerful or moving a sermon was, respond by encouraging them to sign up for a daily devotional. Not only will this practice strengthen your relationship with your audience, but it also will help boost the post in the Facebook algorithm, which favors engagement.
Instagram is all about the consistent creation of stunning content, they key is to consistently publish one-of-a-kind content that encourage engagement.
Much like Facebook, set a goal to reply to every comment to encourage conversations. Now that the feed is no longer chronological, Instagram places a user’s favorite accounts at the top of their feed subsequently making the accounts they don’t interact with as much fall to the bottom. As an organization, this means you need to plan and think carefully about what you are you doing to really win your audience’s attention to gain that top spot.
Are you taking the time to use the best possible hashtags on your posts and stories? Relevant, targeted hashtags can encourage more engagement, more followers, and more interest in your organization. In fact, studies have shown that at least one hashtag will, on average, bump your engagement by 13%! What an easy way to further engage with your audience! On your next post, try using hashtags that include the name of your church, your tagline, or your messaging for a certain sermon series. You could also test out more common hashtags like #beinspired, #youngadultsconference, or #missionarywork.
Twitter is all about relevant, timely, and newsworthy content. The half-life of a tweet is about 24 minutes, which means you constantly have to stay up to date with content production because your tweets will get pushed down in the feed very quickly. While it’s a lot of work to keep up with the fast paced Twitter environment, the platform might be worth the upkeep because people are 31% more likely to recall what they see on Twitter, largely due to the newsworthy nature of its content.
Now, don’t forget those hashtags to boost your tweet’s reach! Unlike Instagram, remember you’re limited to two, so use them wisely.
Users make over two billion searches every month on Pinterest, and about 87% of people have bought something after they “pinned” it on the platform. That makes Pinterest a tremendous platform your organization can use to encourage growth and elicit a loyal following.
Try these tips for attracting and engaging more followers:
• Manually pin content on a regular basis. Share the love, re-pin from the “explore” and “trending” pages, pin other people’s pins and follow any suggested boards. Keep in mind to only pin or follow content that’s actually relevant to your organization and your audience.
• Follow other people on Pinterest. This is an excellent way to grow your audience because if you follow people in your niche, they’re more likely to follow you back and engage with your content!
• Befriend the Pinterest SEO tool. The best way to find keywords for Pinterest’s SEO tool is to go through your board titles, board descriptions, and pin descriptions and think through what long-tailed keywords you should use. Create content that’s relevant to your audience, then add in those top keywords so when people search on Pinterest, your content populates at the top. These keywords will help you get the best exposure and the best growth for all of your efforts.
• Create compelling and shareable infographics. Infographics are 30 times more likely to be read compared to text blog posts because they convey data in a very appealing way.
• Be authentic. People love following Pinterest accounts because they see the value in them, so be authentic and show your organizations value.
Learn more tips and tricks for improving your social media presence in Katherine’s Dunham Institute course, How to Grow Your Audience and Impact on Social Media.
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Ready to take the next step? Dunham+Company is here to help your organization have more impact and establish deeper relationships with your donors and supporters. Contact Bethany Cranfield at 469-454-0100 to get more information.